Jon Jones fights off Khabib Nurmagomedov to maintain top spot of pound-for-pound rankings

Jon Jones has pipped Khabib Nurmagomedov to retain his status at the top of UFC’s latest pound-for-pound rankings.

The light heavyweight champion recorded a narrow split-decision victory against Thiago Santos in his last fight, but was only bumped up into top spot after Daniel Cormier was shockingly dethroned at UFC 241 by Stipe Miocic. DC has, though, climbed up the ranks back to sixth at the expense of Max Holloway.

Still yet to be defeated, many believed that Khabib would claim the top spot after his dominating display over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 last Saturday. The victory was his record-breaking 28th in as many fights; no UFC fighter has managed a longer streak.

Jones has had just one less fight than Khabib, winning 25 and losing just one – with his fight with Cormier ending in a no contest. The 32-year-old, though, remains the top fighter in the industry.

Other than that, not much else has changed, with Henry Cejudo, Miocic and Amanda Nunes coming third, fourth and fifth respectively once again.

Kamaru Usman has secured eighth, Tony Ferguson in ninth and Robert Whittaker is 10th in the pound-for-pound rankings. And after that? A certain Irishman by the name of Conor McGregor, who hasn’t even competed in the sport since his loss to Khabib at UFC 229 in October 2018.

With questions being raised about these recent rankings, the UFC responded and said that the rankings were “generated by a voting panel made up of media members.”

UFC continued: “The media members were asked to vote for who they feel are the top fighters in the UFC by weight-class and pound-for-pound.

“A fighter is only eligible to be voted on if they are in active status in the UFC. A fighter can appear in more than one weight division at a time.

“The champion and interim champion are considered to be in the top positions of their respective divisions and therefore are not eligible for voting by weight-class.

“However, the champions can be voted on for the pound-for-pound rankings.”

It would be fair to assume that Khabib would not have been best pleased when he had discovered the new list of rankings. At his UFC 242 post-fight press conference, he demanded that he should be at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings as a matter of pure respect.

He said: “You know what’s interesting in this sport, even if you’re 28-0, 12-0 in the UFC, you’re one of the biggest stars, you smash everybody, people are going to talk about you ‘have to fight him, you have to fight with him, you have to fight with him’ — give me just respect.

“Put me on No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter next week because I think I deserve this. Because I dominate with all my opponents. I’m undefeated. I think I deserve some respect.”

Maybe the Russian will have to reach 30-0 before topping the charts.

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